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Author Katy Regan worked as a journalist at Marie Claire, until the success of her column ‘And then there were three..sort of’ launched a new career as a novelist. Katy’s third book, How We Met is published on 31 January 2013. She lives with her 8 year old son in Berkhamsted. Follow Katy @katyreganwrites.
These are her favourite places.
The Lambert Arms, Watlington, Oxfordshire
Every year, my friends and I like to take a break away from life, work, children and go on a girly mini-break together. Our criteria this year was that we wanted somewhere in the countryside, so that we could go for long walks (the Chilterns are on the doorstep), but then come back to somewhere with good food and crucially, a bar! The Lambert Arms ticked all those boxes. It’s an original coaching inn, so it’s got the rustic roaring fires and the wooden floors, whilst at the same time having elegant, stylish bedrooms. The breakfast is pretty special (I recommend the eggs hollandaise) and they do a wonderful afternoon tea, which you know, kind of leads effortlessly into dinner….so you can just eat constantly. Bliss.
Black Park, Nr Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire
My eight-year old son loves this place: acres and acres of woodland and a lake for him to be run out like a dog. It also has a really nice caff and a fantastic adventure playground. Last time we were there, JLS were filming some sort of music video too which was a bonus! It’s proximity to Pinewood Studios means it is often used as a media location.
Part of the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust, your little wannabe ornithologists or mini-beast enthusiasts will love this reserve built on an old chalk quarry just two miles north of Tring. My son Fergus and I like to go in the summer, during those couple of tricky hours to fill between end of school and tea-time. After wandering around this peaceful spot, both of us come home calm and tranquil.
Origins Wine Bar @The White Lion, Great Missenden
My friend recently had her fortieth birthday in the ‘coachouse’ here and we had such a great night. It’s a bijou little space, but you can hire the entire thing out and it has two floors, so upstairs for sitting and chatting and downstairs for dancing! (and did we dance…). I loved the idea of being able to celebrate a big birthday in a picturesque village in the middle of the Buckinghamshire countryside. It made the taxi journey home so much more relaxing than getting home from London.
The Cotswolds Wildlife Park, Nr Burford, Oxfordshire
Nestled in the heart of the gorgeous Cotswolds, is this safari park. My son is a huge animal enthusiast and loved seeing the rhinos roaming wild and the funny little monkeys (we’re not sure what they’re called , but they were mesmerizing!) There’s a cute train for little ones and since Burford itself is gorgeous – a quintessentially ‘Cotswolds’ Hovis-advert-type town – you’d be silly not to make a weekend of it and stay the night too.